Government and Minibus Owners Association of Malawi have warned minibus operators in the country not to take advantage of reeducation of seating capacity in minibuses to the fares.
This come as there is growing fears from passengers that the 60 percent seating capacity that government through special cabinet committee on COVID-19 directed starting from Tuesday 1 April 2020.
In a telephone interview, Minibus Owners Association of Malawi MOAM has asked minibus operators to consider commuters’ welfare before hiking the minibus fares.
National chairperson for Minibus Owners Association of Malawi MOAM Felix Mbonekera said though minibus operators have the right to raise minibus fares for them to make profits, they should think of passenger’s economic status.
‘Minibus owners should consider the situation we are in right now and they should know that this virus is very dangerous, they must comply with the directive of reducing the seating capacity’, he said.
Mbonekera said though minibus owners have the power and right to raise the bus fare, minibus owners to follow government’s order to prevent COVID-19.
aIn his remarks Minister of Transport who is also member of special cabinet committee on COVID-19 Ralph Jooma has said government has considered the welfare of minibus operators by not stopping them to operate which is contrary to what some countries have done around the world. Therefore, the minister said there is no need to raise the fare exorbitantly.
‘Minibus owners have to be considerate bearing in mind that we are in a state of national disaster, hence no need to hike the price exorbitantly’, the minister said.
He therefore urged people to observe social distance and avoid overcrowding in places like minibuses.